The tower industry is changing. Cell towers are getting lower to the ground to be closer to residential subscribers.

Small Cells are the Fastest Growing Segment

The amount of data needed to supply the never-ending demand for it isn’t confined to commercial or business areas. Residential areas are equally as important. In congested cities, there isn’t enough physical space to implement more large cell phone towers but the wireless users need enhanced signals for their mobile devices.

Enter the small cell.

If 81% of the US population lives in cities, then it makes sense that the amount of cell service we need there is significant. The IHS determined that the global outdoor small cell implementation market will soar to $2.2 billion dollars in 2020 with a CAGR of 80% over the next 5 years to meet the need of the end users.

Why the Small Cell is Favored

Why is any technology favored?

The small cell is more compact, more convenient, easier to maintain, and cheaper to implement. Its adoption would enhance signal strength for the 5G network. These small cells cover a smaller area than a cellular tower would but they compound the signal when they are implemented in multiple locations. This means they will enhance the service provided to the wireless users in a given geographical location without taking up a lot of space.

In a Small Cell Forum Survey of 500 businesses, data capacity was cited as a main struggle. Even still, most businesses said that poor voice quality was their biggest challenge that they faced. In a landslide amount, 94% of the surveyed businesses said that the quality of the in-building cellphone service directly impacted their business performance.

This 5G network will enhance data and voice connection tremendously, having positive impacts on local economies. These small cell antennas will be the key to supporting the infrastructure.

Where Small Cells Can Be Deployed

Small cell antennas can be conveniently implemented in a lot of locations including rooftops, inside buildings, on top of parking garages, churches, and mobile home parks. Because of their small size, they are easily placed and together would be able to meet the data need. They can be positioned to lampposts or even utility poles.

Land Leases for Small Cell Antenna

The IHS research firm predicts that the small cell market will reach 3.8 million units deployed by 2019. The locations for these units are still widely contested. Many private landowners are facing ridiculous fines and fees imposed by local governments if they try to pursue a small cell land lease. While a cell carrier would pay more for a cell tower lease, the small cell lease rates are not to be scoffed at. These systems are just as valuable as a large cell tower. However, cell carriers need to deploy multiple units so they tend to pay less to install a small cell node. A large cell tower could generate anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 a month. While a small cell lease could generate around $1,000 dollars.

With that said, the potential monthly income a landowner could generate for a rooftop lease for a small cell, is anything but small. But that number is highly based on the negotiations that take place. Make sure you have someone knowledgeable to help negotiate if you decide to pursue a cellular lease.